Lillestrøm v Vålerenga
Here we have one of the big heated ‘derbies’ in Norwegian football between two teams who absolutely hate each other. Lillestrøm continue to hover just above water and a collection of recent draws have managed to give them a degree of comfort from the relegation zone. They could do with a win again soon just to ease the pressure even more but I sense that LSK are difficult to beat right now. Their record against teams in the bottom half of the table is good and they’ll have very fond memories of the reverse fixture earlier in the season when they stunned everyone by winning 3-0 at the Intility Arena. Results between these two teams seem to ebb and flow. Nobody has really held a definitive edge in recent years. Right now, only one point separates the two sides and a victory would be worth its weight in gold. For the hosts there are doubts surrounding the fitness of both Arnor Smarason & Daniel Pedersen but there’s a chance both still might suit up in time.
Travelling here are a Vålerenga side who are winless in 11 matches! It’s been a horrible run for Ronny Deila’s men and if they don’t sort themselves out there’s a chance that VIF could become shock relegation candidates. I thought they were unlucky to only draw 1-1 against Ranheim and Odd and to some extent there was also misfortune during the 0-2 home defeat to Stabaek last week. Something just isn’t right here though and hasn’t been right for a while. Coach Ronny Deila feels like a spent force in Oslo and has lost his grip on the team. This match will be fiercely fought and will be a highly intense battle. I just don’t see LSK losing it though so taking the hosts on a DNB handicap makes a lot of sense to me. The bookies can’t split either team but I think Lillestrøm should be given favouritism considering VIF’s terrible run. I think they have more mental and physical strength which is sometimes what you need in these sort of contests at this stage of the season.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Lillestrøm DNB at 1.940
Tromsø v Ranheim
These two teams met on the opening day of the season and on that occasion Tromsø produced a come from behind 2-1 victory. Now both are embroiled in a tense relegation battle with what looks like a very congested lower half of the table. The term’ 6 pointer’ is thrown around all too often in these relegation tussles but this really is one of those. Victory for either team would be absolutely massive. Ranheim shocked everyone by beating Odd 4-1 at home last week. There was no way in a million years I saw that coming but RIL are a team that fights right to the death and are so extremely difficult to shake off. Ranheim have an upcoming Norwegian Cup semi final to look forward to in midweek away at Viking. I don’t know if they will have an eye on that clash or not but it could maybe have a slight affect. In terms of squad condition everything is fine apart from the long term injury to winger Eirik Tonne.
A trip to Tromsø is never easily, especially this time of year when it’s expected to be very cold and the chance of snow falling is much higher. Nobody wants to travel that far north in conditions like these and we saw an example of that in Tromsø’s most recent home match when they beat Kristiansund 5-0. I have always maintained the opinion that TIL won’t go down under the management of Simo Valakari but they could’ve done with picking something up at Viking last week. Instead, they are piling on the pressure in all of these home matches. Key defender and captain Simen Wangberg is suspended which isn’t ideal. Tromsø usually are usually far too leaky defensively and celebrated their half century of conceded goals last week. The 50 they’ve let in is by far the most in the league and their matches are usually quite open containing plenty of chances. Over 2.5 stands out as the best bet here in my opinion. I’m also going to nibble Tromsø -0.25. I am less confident about this pick but they should be odds-on favourites in my opinion. TIL like playing Ranheim and won both fixtures last season and the aforementioned opening day clash in 2019. The encounter at this stadium last season ended 4-0 and I see them prevailing again something like 2-1 or 3-1.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Tromsø -0.25 at 1.950
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.840
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.